Get To The Coppa

A simple, healthy and beautiful transformation from blonde to copper.

When I have a guest who is normally a level 9 blonde sit in my chair and tell me they want red, I get butterflies. The butterflies are equal parts excitement and anxiety. If you haven't had this exact scenario blow up in your face and ruin your life at some point behind the chair, just wait. You haven't been doing hair long enough. This will happen, and it will haunt your dreams.

Luckily enough for me, THIS specific scenario was cause for butterflies of excitement! My normally level 9 blonde goes copper for the winter EVERY year, and I had been waiting for the signal to make it happen! The shine, overall healthy appearance, what it does to her complexion... it's the kind of transformation that is Pinterest hair goals.


So you want to go red. Great!! I am your girl. I've had red hair for the better part of a decade, and I LOVE a good red! That being said, WHAT KIND OF RED DO WE WANT?? My goodness, there are one thousand different options and variations!
When deciding on a shade of red, my best friend is my swatch book. During the consultation, my swatches act as a tiny bang sized wig that allows the guest to visualize what it will look like to have red hair against their skin.

After flipping through the majority of the red swatches, making a like and dislike list and narrowing it down to 2, we decided to create subtle and soft copper dimension. Our starting fabric already had leftover dimension from our last color service (roughly 5 months prior) and gave us a clean canvas to create our red color on. The below picture was our starting point.


I knew that in order to go darker without filling, we would need to stay within three levels of where she currently lived. Her base matched up to a 6, her lightest pieces a 9, and various strands of 7 & 8 ran throughout. That meant in order to stay within three levels of our starting point, the darkest we could go at her base would be a 3, and the darkest we could go through her lengths and ends would be a 6. With that in mind, and understanding that we wanted the primary reflect to be copper, we formulated the following:

Base Color :

35g 5,34 (level 5 gold copper)

5g 44,0 (level 4 double pigment / natural intense)

60g 10 volume

Copper Formula 1:

20g 6,34 (level 6 gold copper)

10g 6,44 (level 6 copper copper)

45g 20 volume

Copper Formula 2:

15g 5.34 (level 5 gold copper)

15g 6,46 (level 6 copper red)

45g 20 volume

I chose to add a small amount of a double pigment color (natural intense, NN, etc.) to give a little depth to her base formula. Red tones, especially in the warm red family, tend to reflect a little lighter than their true level. Adding this color as 1/8th of her formula lends to the depth.

I began by applying her base color slightly starting in the back and finishing in the front. Once her base color was applied, I combed the application through to drag it down slightly and created a blending area to make the transition into the lengths and ends formulas more seamless.

Once her base color was applied and combed through, I took her entire head in "wagon wheel" sections pivoting from her apex. I then alternated each section with my two different copper formulas to create a soft dimension in her red color, careful to ensure FULL saturation. Saturation is ALWAYS important, but especially so when going from lighter to darker.

She processed for 35 minutes, then we cleansed and conditioned with a shine enhancing color protecting shampoo and conditioner. This head of hair is naturally VERY curly and she only wears it straight, so we decided to cut once her hair was fully dried and flat ironed. I used a blow dry primer and nutrient dense oil to prep her hair, blew her out, prepped again with a medium hold non aerosol hairspray, then flat ironed smooth. We cleaned up her haircut, and admired out transformation!


I absolutely LOVE these tones against her skin!!! Her natural coloring just popped with this color. This is one of the very very rare instances that I prefer someone darker rather than blonde! And lets be honest, how much healthier does this hair look??



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